Strolling of the Heifers

All dressed up for Mardi Gras! 

Strolling of the Heifers Weekend

They came. They strolled. And they looked fabulous. This weekend, a few members of the Green Team represented VWS at the Strolling of the Heifers parade. This being my first “stroll”, I was excited to see what sights and antics Brattleboro had in store.

The parade featured floats and displays from local businesses and organizations from around southeastern Vermont. Each one had a unique theme that tied into the agricultural theme of the event. One of my favorite ideas was from Edward Jones Investments with the slogan “How’s Your Nest Egg Doing?” with a float that was decorated with some live chickens and eggs. There was also a float for an organization that is near and dear to my heart: a local FFA chapter. And of course, there were plenty of heifers. Their handlers dressed each heifer in beads, flowers and bright colors to match this years Strolling of the Heifers theme, “Running of the Bulls meets Mardi Gras.”

Strolling of the Heifers

Representing the FFA! I walked in many parades and shows as a member, but never in a cow suit!


After the parade was over, the crowd all flooded to The Common to scored some “Strolling Swag” and free gifts from more local businesses. One exhibit in the event was the Woodlands exhibit, which we were a part of. Groups offered educational exhibits and demonstrations about forestry, logging, conservation, invasive species and, of course, the final product of effective forest harvesting, furniture. Vermont Woods Studios shared a tent with Wood-Net, represented by woodworker Rick Gravelin. We showcased our sustainable outdoor POLYWOOD furniture, while Rick displayed a beautiful assortment of handmade, wooden clocks and watches. Michelle, Peggy and I had so much fun talking with local residents about our furniture and where it comes from and boasting about our new Vernon showroom. Michelle even got to talk about our solid wood dining furniture with Peter Welch, a Vermont Congressman.

Did you attend the Stroll this weekend? Or does your town have a local agricultural fair you enjoy? Tell us about it here or on our Facebook wall!

Strolling of the Heifers

Every year, the stroll has special “sweepers” that follow the end of the parade to clean up 
the inevitable messes that heifers make. I thought it would be fitting for 
the sweepers to follow this blog too. :)

 

 

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This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.

Tiger-conservation I'm trying not to feel too wounded.  We got a call from World Wildlife Fund WWF today.  I've been a contributing member and ardent promoter of their work since I graduated from college and got my first full time job in 1980.  After 31 years of enthusiastic support, they called me today to tell me that I'm not allowed to mention their name on my Vermont Woods Studios Furniture website anymore.

See… we recently launched a Save the Tiger campaign to raise awareness of the fact that all species of tigers are endangered and some are on the brink of extinction.  Their habitat is being destroyed and to some extent it's because corrupt timber conglomerates are clear-cutting the forests they live in and using the wood for cheap imported furniture and flooring that's sold in the US and Europe.  We oppose that and so does WWF.  We support their Save the Tiger fund and we encourage furniture shoppers to buy American furniture made from sustainably harvested American wood.

Well I guess they don't like their name being connected to a commercial venture.  I understand their concern about the fact that there are dirt ball websites out there that might use their name dishonestly, but really.  I asked WWF to spend 5 minutes on our website and tell me we're one of those guys.  They agreed that our committment to conservation seems genuine but then noted that in order to be considered WWF partners and refer to them on your website, a minimum "6 figure donation" is required annually along with a long list of other things.  Actually, I think we would be OK with the other requirements but $100,000 is equal to 1/6 of our total revenue (not profits) last year.  So now I have to face the fact that I've been summarily rejected by my all time favorite charity– an organization that had a profound influence on the whole concept defining Vermont Woods Studios Furniture.  How sad is that?

I'm going to finish crying in my beer tonight.  Tomorrow I'll be over it and moved on to other issues.  But tonight I can't help feeling a bit jaded about WWF and their corporate partnership program.  What do you think?

This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.

Bedroom-furniture We've been busy lately at Vermont Woods Studios Furniture– finally moving into our new showroom in Vernon, Vermont.  Yeah!!!  It's taken over a year to recover from the fire last Christmas Eve that took our wonderful friend Annette's home and farm– and along with it– our showroom. 

But Douglas and Rebecca have been working the last few weekends– moving all or our electronics and office systems to our new space.  Ken and the boys helped move new desks and bookshelves in.  This week we hope to wrap up much of the process by moving our first shipment of furniture.

The new office and showroom is located next to the Post Office in Vernon, Vermont at 2531 Fort Bridgman Rd Vernon, VT.  Drop by and see us!

 

This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.

Solid-cherry-wood-bedroom Furniture made of solid cherry wood is considered some of the finest furniture available in the world today.  That's because cherry is a beautiful, stable hardwood that develops a rich reddish brown patina over the years and just keeps getting more gorgeous as time goes by.

I'm always saddened when customers tell us they've been searching in their local areas and online for solid cherry furniture and they haven't been able to find the real thing.  

What's happened is that the larger furniture companies (like Bassett, Lane, Broyhill, Thomasville, Ethan Allen and others) have opted for low-price over quality in their furniture designs.  They typically use cheaper, lower quality woods, stain them and then call them "cherry".  The worst part is that the stains don't even remotely look like real cherry wood, but this cheap furniture is so plentiful that people often think that stain is the actual color of cherry.  At Vermont Woods Studios Furniture it breaks our craftsmans' hearts when people ask them to stain solid cherry furniture to make it match existing fake "cherry" furniture that's in their homes.

Solid-cherry-wood bookcase Here are some examples of solid cherry wood furniture.  You'll notice there are varying degrees of color.  Natural cherry wood starts out a light pinkish color and darkens over time with exposure to light.  Eventually it ripens to a stunning reddish brown.  You can hasten the darkening process by oiling the wood often.

If you're shopping for cherry furniture and you have any doubts about the wood, be sure to ask the salesperson if it's authentic cherry wood.  Ask where it's from too.  The best cherry in the world is grown in Pennsylvania and West Virginia and because we don't have much cherry in Vermont, that's where we get ours from.  More on cherry wood furniture here.

 

This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.

Tune in to Brattleboro Radio WKVT 92.7 FM / 1490 AM tomorrow morning from 10-11AM to hear Steve West and me chat all about the work of artisans like Chad Woodruff and Greg Goodman and the fact that Vermont is the fine furniture capitol of America

Many thanks to Steve and Crystal for giving us this opportunity to spread the word about Vermont's awesome furniture makers and our online furniture gallery at Vermont Woods Studios.

This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.